Derailed train car spills plastic beads in Boulder

BOULDER, Colo. -- Investigators worked Tuesday to learn what caused a train to derail in Boulder.

Part of the freight train veered off a Burlington Northern Santa Fe track just before the evening rush hour Tuesday, impacting the drive home for scores of drivers.

Investigators said a load of plastic beads spilled from one of six derailed cars that had flipped over. No one was hurt.

The derailment quickly prompted evacuations in the neighborhood along Arapahoe Avenue as a hazardous materials team moved into place.

Police, rushing to the scene, did not initially know what might have spilled out of the derailed train cars, according to authorities.

"We always prepare for and train for the worst case scenario," said Kim Scott of Boulder Fire and Rescue.

Authorities initially ordered evacuations for a 100-yard radius as a precaution. Roads were closed north of Arapahoe.

Jonathan Rodd navigated a detour caused by the derailment -- one that made his day a bit longer.

"We came up Pearl, crawled, crawled crawled past the post office ... and then made our way down 75th -- took us about an hour and 10 minutes," Rodd said.

A car dealership closed for the rest of the day after evacuations were ordered. Those evacuations were lifted an hour after the derailment after firefighters learned the spilled cargo did not pose a threat.

Investigators have not said what they believe might have caused the derailment.